A toothbrush made for gamers

Thomas Serval’s dentist called him a bad father when his daughter, then 7, refused to brush her teeth. So he and his dentist made tooth-brushing fun — almost too much fun. Serval’s company Kolibree transformed a toothbrush into a video game controller kids can use to make rabbits race and pirates plunder in games on a smartphone. There’s no price tag yet for the kid version of the toothbrush, which should be available by April and was shown off at the International CES show. The adult version, which looks almost identical but has a shorter battery life, sells for $149.



ampy move


Using your body’s energy to charge device

Maybe it’s your phone that’s not keeping up. If so, you might check out new accessories designed to make it easier and faster to charge it back up. Kickstarter-funded Ampy uses your body’s kinetic energy to charge up a pager-sized device. Strap it to your arm or a belt and it can recharge a smartphone in real time; an hour of jogging or similar exercise yields about an hour of use. You could also just throw it in your bag and get the same extra hour of gadget life after a week of walking around — not an awesome trade off, maybe, but possibly better than nothing. The Evanston, Ill., company is now developing the next version of the device.




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Accessory to keep sun exposure under control

L’Oréal is not a name usually associated with International CES, but the beauty giant was there to introduce a tattoo-like patch that tells you, with the help of your smartphone, how much UV exposure you have at different times of the day. Created in conjunction with PCH, the Irish product engineering firm that also manufactures the Ringly (a cocktail-style ring that notifies you when you get calls, text messages or calendar events), the new device is being called My UV Patch. It is a “stretchable sensor” with a diameter of one inch and thickness of 15 microns (think bandage-like). It lasts five days and will be available later this year.